Unlike this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, there won’t be any magic from an eighth seed in the Sabres “Goals of the Year” showdown bracket. All four top seeds have moved on to the semifinals, with Tyler Ennis proving to be a fan favorite in both of his first-round matchups. Almost 2,500 votes were cast throughout the week in the four quarterfinal pairings.
Ennis’ pass to himself against Pittsburgh on February 19 was the biggest margin of victory in the first round, taking 69% of the votes in his duel with Cody Hodgson’s two-goal outing versus Montreal on March 21. He followed that up with 61% of the votes in a 4 vs. 5 tilt with Jason Pominville, as his sick stickhandling skills against Montreal on March 12 were more popular than the captain’s shorty in Washington on March 27.
Thomas Vanek, the three seed, also moved on to the next round with a 51%-49% win over Derek Roy. Vanek’s goal was a solo effort against the Panthers on October 29, while Roy didn’t get nearly enough love for his OT winner against Toronto at home on April 3.
Despite being the two seed, rookie Marcus Foligno and his “jump” goal on March 14 against Colorado pulled out another surprising win with a 54%-46% decision over Jordan Leopold’s crease-crashing tying goal in a must-win game against the Maple Leafs on April 3.
Here are your four semifinal winners, and their pairings for next week’s showdown brackets:
Will Ennis continue his roll? Can the veteran Vanek or freshman Foligno prevent an Ennis vs. Ennis final? Stay tuned! Watch Sabres.com for more details on how to vote for your favorite goals of the 2011-12 season.